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93
4.7 out of 5 stars
Wise Women: A Celebration of Their Insights, Courage, and Beauty
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95 of 96 people found the following review helpful
When I was a child, because both my parents worked, it was my grandmother who essentially raised me. To me she was an all-knowing, all-powerful person, and quite a beautiful woman to my adoring and fearing child eyes. Many years after her death, and with a mind now conditioned to see skeletal models representing someone's ideal of beauty, it took this brilliant book by Tenneson to rekindle the power and beauty of women aged 65 and older. Tenneson applies her formidable portraiture skills with an artistic ferocity that leaves no doubt in place to the fact that in doing this project, she discovered a lot of issues with her own self and perception of beauty and fear. This is one of those rare photography books that I sense are destined to become a keystone in contemporary photography and re-enforce Tenneson's place among the elite of the fine arts photography world. But more importantly, it represents a powerful alternative challenge to what has been forced fed to us about beauty and power, and help some of us to remember fondly a loving, powerful grandmother.
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37 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on June 30, 2002
I bought this for my 62 year old mother. She's a psycotherapist and leads several women's groups. I figured it would be perfect for her waiting room.
She loves it so much it has yet to leave her house.
It is about time someone started to show the beauty of women over 60. These women are beautiful, and the photos are inspiring to men and women of all ages.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful
on January 24, 2003
This is a book I would be honored to given to me by my daughter...or anyone! Unfortunately, my mother didn't feel the same way. She's in her 70's and thought I was insulting her. The women in the book are my role models...
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on September 22, 2002
a wonderful,sensitive,comforting and touching book for women . something to make one feel like getting older really is not so bad,and it's actually something to look forward to.makes a great gift...for yourself and your loved ones.
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35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
All the while I was writing my own book about the wisdom, joy and power in being an 'Elderwoman' - i.e. a woman who embraces the aging process, instead of shrinking from it - I wished I could illustrate it with pictures. For as we know, a picture is worth a thousand words. And the true Elderwoman is a delight to behold. Her joy, her wisdom, her power, and a thousand stories, are all there, in her face. But I am no photographer. I had to make do with words.
So when I came upon this beautiful book I fell in love with it immediately. Now, everywhere I go to talk about my own books or to do workshops with older women, I take Joyce Tenneson's book with me, and pass it around. Every woman I have shown it to has loved it, as I do.
Compared to these portraits, the bland faces of young models look like clones or Barbie dolls. Here is REAL BEAUTY, revealed.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2003
When I pick up this book and thumb through it I think of my grandmother who I adore. I can imagine her picture along side the others. Strong, vulnerable and brave!
I was also very pleased to see that Joyce Tenneson was courageous enough to show these women as beautiful and whole-revealing their flaws.
This book is not a book for every woman. I agree with one of the other reviewers that women in their 80's might not appreciate seeing other women their age covered in only a wrap of cloth. Baby Boomers will enjoy this as they get older and see other women, older and wiser being comfortable with their bodies, their lives and their accomplishments. It would also make a good gift for cancer survivors in their 50's, as many of the women are survivors themselves.
There is not a lot of text in this book, which is why I say it would make a great coffee table book. I thumb through it often and find it very comforting to read the short quotes about their faith, their life and aging. It reads like comfort food for the soul.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
on July 7, 2003
I first came across the photographs of Joyce Tenneson in The Sun Magazine; I was instantly entranced. Here were photographs that spoke volumes, that said here is the spirit of woman that has been hidden by fashion, jewelry, makeup and society's expectations. They are photographs that you can spend hours with. Her work reminds me of that of Imogene Cunningham, though their years are far separated. The book does not need the quotes, the photographs speak on their own.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2002
There's a certain kind of beuty which we have been forced to forget: that of our mothers and grandmothers - the goddesses of our lives - this book is the rebirth of these women as the guiding beauties of mankind. This will be the set of photographs via which Tenneson will set her name in the history of western art.
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32 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on March 23, 2003
This book was a disappointment for me - the title does not live up to my expectations. I mean, these are women who have lived for 70, 80, 90 years and all they have to say is one or two sentences? I wanted pages and pages of their wisdom. And then the wisest thing one of them had to say was "...I live at the Dakota and sometimes I feel like moving, but what would I do with all the things I've collected over the years? I have so many "things", I guess I'll never move." Oh, please! Where exactly is the wisdom here. Most of the photos were great, that's what the 3 stars are for. Also, I was surprised that several women did not reveal their age - I thought it was more interesting knowing their ages and seeing how beautiful they were and was inspired and amazed knowing that. In the introduction the author talks about the women sharing "...their inner lives - the heartaches as well as the triumphs. We talked about our families and the longings of our hearts...we discovered that the journeys we had taken toward our deeper selves, toward acceptance, love, and hopefully compassion for the frailties of the universe were basically the same. I came away from each encounter exhilarated by what I had seen and learned, and with an urgent desire to share these stories." I wish she had truly shared them. I'm sure they would have been great.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2009
With a sense of awe, I viewed the photography of the author and read the remarks of the ageless souls who were portrayed with such dignity and honor that I felt like I was ushered into a private chapel that had a secret window into a hidden world.
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